Infant Safe Sleep at The Johns Hopkins Hospital

An infant rests in a crib safely

Sudden Unexplained Infant Death (SUID) is the unexpected death of an infant under 1 year of age that happens due to causes that are unknown. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 3400 babies die from SUID each year. These deaths often happen during sleep or in the sleeping area when babies are not able to breathe normally.

Johns Hopkins Hospital is committed to safe sleep. We strive to practice safe sleep in the hospital whenever possible, and we educate parents on how to put their babies to sleep safely at home. We encourage parents, grandparents, and other caregivers to learn about sleep safety.

A safe sleeping area along with how you lay your baby down to sleep can prevent SUID.

Here are ways you can ensure your baby is sleeping safely:

  • Follow the ABCs:
    • Alone: Put your baby to sleep alone in the crib without extra blankets, toys, or other items.
    • Back: Always lay your baby on their back to sleep.
    • Crib: Only put your baby to sleep in a crib or bassinet on a firm mattress.
  • Dress your baby in one layer of clothing to avoid overheating.
  • Only wrap your baby in a single swaddle blanket or sleep sack. Do not place a loose blanket in the crib.
    • Leave baby’s arms unswaddled as soon as they are able to roll over.
  • Share a room with your baby, not a bed. You should have a separate sleep surface than your baby.
  • Do not use positioners, wedges, or bumper pads.
  • Do not put your baby to sleep in a bouncy chair, swing, car seat, or other device.
  • Offer your baby a pacifier. Pacifiers should not be attached to a clip or string.
  • Breastfeeding is recommended to decrease the risk of SUID.
  • Do not smoke or allow smoking near your baby.
  • See your baby’s pediatrician regularly for well visits and stay up to date on vaccinations.

Safe Sleep Resources